By Stephen Schenck | May 13, 2011 2:49 PM
The US Government continues to look into how companies are using smartphone location data, checking that everything’s on the up-and-up and no one’s privacy is being violated, but these recent inquiries don’t seem to have put a damper on location-based services, with new tools continuing to roll out. The latest is Google’s News Near You for Android and the iPhone, identifying hot stories that are breaking right in your backyard.
News Near You can be used right form your smartphone browser. Once you authorize Google to gather your location data, you can access stories in the News Near You category (at the bottom, by default, in case you don’t see it). Google scans its news sources, looking for the names of cities, towns, and things like businesses and attractions: anything that helps it identify the geographic area a piece of news deals with. The ones closest to you get displayed in the new category.
Now, admittedly, you could always just search News for your area, or follow the reporting of local news outlets individually, but we can appreciate how Google’s feature here makes things easier than ever; this is just the kind of function that’s a perfect reason for sharing your location. If you travel frequently, and like to keep yourself informed about what’s going on around you, give News Near You a look.